Testimony of Peter’s Salvation
I was saved on September 18th 1994. It was a turbulent but worthwhile journey of 23 years of sincerely searching for God Almighty and the truth.
The Greek Orthodox Church provided no spiritual guidance, so I began reading the Bible on my own. As a lost man I was attracted by the simplicity of the Lord Jesus Christ’s messages, His life, and the power of His preaching.
I quickly realized that Biblical truth and the pitiful traditions of Greek Orthodoxy were two opposing forces that had almost nothing in common. The friendly, compassionate Saviour who humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death clashed with the ostentation of the Greek churches and the snobbishness of the Greek priests.
After being witnessed to and shown from the Bible, I recognized that Jesus Christ’s death on Calvary’s cross was the greatest sacrifice. I also understood that He was offering me the greatest gift, the gift of salvation and the promise of eternal life.
I took the gift and entered in at the strait gate which leads unto life.
A few months after I was saved I began visiting prisons and preaching to incarcerated men. Eventually, I was able to get official permission through the Greek Ministry of Justice to have Bible studies in seven different prisons with anyone who wished to be part of the study group. Over the years there have been lots of men saved, a few have stayed in Greece and attend our church.
I took Bible lessons for over two years and then began teaching Sunday school in our church. I have also preached at two other Bible believing churches in Greece.
During the last few years I’ve translated lots of tracts into Greek and have also designed and written my own. People in Greece like to read; gospel tracts are attractive to them and it gives me a great opportunity to talk to them about the Saviour.
I was ordained in April of 2001 and served as assistant pastor until December of 2010. I took over as pastor of our church on January 1st of 2011 after the resignation of our last pastor.
Concerning the gospel, Greece is one of the most difficult countries in Europe, even though it was the first European country the apostle Paul evangelized. Greek people know very little Bible and have no idea what the scriptures say about salvation and a new life in Christ. They are caught up in the traditions of Orthodoxy and have been raised to believe that they have to work their way to heaven.
What this country needs is the gospel that Paul preached 2,000 years ago. This is my burden for these people, and the Lord will give me strength, courage and determination to continue this difficult work.
Testimony of Lydia’s Salvation
Raised a Roman Catholic, I saw at an early age the hypocrisy and absurdity that accompanies “the traditions of men.” The material wealth of the greedy Roman church along with its dubious practices drove me to consider God a man-made concept as well. Thus agnostic, I spent most of my young adult life seeking to fill the spiritual void inside me. And not always with good things.
In 1977, while attending university in Pennsylvania, I met a wonderful Greek man. Peter and I married in 1980, and the following year we moved to Greece. Marriage to Peter and the birth of our two sons was everything I could have hoped for. Yet, even they could not fill the emptiness inside me. Something got in the way of my happiness, and I knew it was my sin.
Finally, one day as I hung laundry and meditated on my life, I felt so tired of my sin, I cried out: “I can’t help myself. God, if you exist, show me!”
A week later, while spring-cleaning our apartment, I came across a novel I’d begun writing in High School. The unfinished manuscript had always haunted me, and now it urged me to complete it. Incidentally, one of the characters in the story was a Bible-believer, a Baptist.
That Saturday, as I walked my eight-year-old son to soccer practice, I noticed a small Bible Baptist church in the neighborhood. In a land dominated by Greek Orthodox cathedrals, this proved a surprising sight. Lately, my eleven-year-old had been asking a lot of questions about God. With him in mind, but more so driven by my desire to research Baptist beliefs for the Christian character in my novel, I noted the church’s time of worship. A scripture card taped to the window drew me closer. It read: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”-Titus 2:13. “Looking for. . . God”, indeed!
The next day, my two sons and I visited the church. The congregation made us feel at home, and as Pastor Bailey taught and preached from the Word of God, it was as if a breath of fresh air blew through me. The Bible pealed with truth and seemed to answer every question I’d ever had about life, death and the hereafter. Best of all, I learned about the amazing love of the Lord Jesus Christ. I learned about His mercy and His forgiveness. I learned His sacrificial death on the cross for my sin and His resurrection could give me a new life.
On June 3rd 1994, a week after my first visit to the church, I got down on my knees in our bedroom, and I asked Jesus Christ to save me. The following week, my husband began attending the church. Within months, my entire family was saved. Unable to contain the good news, I spread it abroad and later rejoiced to see my family in the US come to know the Lord–even my mother, who’d previously sworn she’d die Roman Catholic.
We serve an awesome God. There’s no end to His blessings. I sometimes shudder to think of what my life might have been like without Jesus Christ. I’m so thankful for that day at my clothesline when He heard my cry and swiftly responded. Truly, as the psalmist says in Psalm 40:2-3
“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”